The Old Pine Tree
noticed
Night meetings have been piling up, so today I took an extended lunch break (2.5 hours!) to go trail running. It has been summer hot and humid the last few days; getting in the woods was the right thing to do. The shade, the smell of the orange pine needles starting to find the ground and the heat on the high-tide river, and the scurry of anxious animals afraid of what I might bring all made for a nice midday retreat. 

noticed

Night meetings have been piling up, so today I took an extended lunch break (2.5 hours!) to go trail running. It has been summer hot and humid the last few days; getting in the woods was the right thing to do. The shade, the smell of the orange pine needles starting to find the ground and the heat on the high-tide river, and the scurry of anxious animals afraid of what I might bring all made for a nice midday retreat. 

Heat wave

The next few days we have what will probably be our last real sip of summer. I’ll be running islands and swimming in the ocean and investigating the garden barefoot, snacking on fresh peas. What else would I do? I bet if you try real hard you can picture me smiling.

oldfishingphotos:

1960s SummerPhoto: Volkmar Wentzel / Source: natgeofound

Sometimes photos you’ve never seen before somehow feel familiar.

oldfishingphotos:

1960s Summer
Photo: Volkmar Wentzel / Source: natgeofound

Sometimes photos you’ve never seen before somehow feel familiar.

First batch

It’s hard to believe I have the headspace to do any canning right now, but the possibility of wasting food that I grew puts a mighty weight on a person.

This was a small batch of dilly beans, but it taught me that small batches are much less stressful and take up less time. I also learned that there is one good thing about electric stoves (and no other good things): they boil the water for the hot water bath in record speed.

I’m hoping there’s another equally big batch of beans waiting for me, because while three quarts is better than nothing it isn’t nearly enough to last a year. I also prefer to gift a jar or two rather then hoard them.

Next on the list is pickled peas, but those just get popped in the fridge.

930 uninhabited acres

I recently rediscovered a wild place I hadn’t explored in years. This week I drove 15 minutes north up the coast to run trails on a 930-acre island preserved for recreation and exploring the woods and the shore. Weekdays are a good time to go; I had the place to myself. Running was all up hill then down. I expected my legs to be stiff and cranky after a day off but they were surprisingly relaxed and ready to work. I got in a great run, ate handfuls of blackberries afterward (the place is dripping with fresh wild fruit right now), and stretched by the sea.

Happy tank full.

The F word

People like to talk about forgiveness, and how important it is, and how much better it makes you feel. It’s very easy to talk about forgiveness, but there is only one way to learn about it, and that is the hard way. It has taken me years to come to any real conclusion about forgiveness, and what I have learned is not what people always told me (and continue to tell me), or those cheesy quotes (which tend to be quite similar to what people always tell you).

In my opinion there are two kinds of forgiveness. There is the kind that equates to understanding someone’s actions. I believe that there is an element to this kind of forgiveness that is about saying “it’s ok.” It is that aspect that always made forgiveness very difficult for me. How do you forgive someone without believing that what happened was ok? This led me to the second kind of forgiveness, which is simply letting go. You don’t have to give anything to anyone, you don’t have to believe there was some rightness or alright-ness in whatever happened. It’s very personal.

Letting go can be as powerful as saying it’s alright. People always told me to get to a place where it was ok, but sometimes that can feel like you’re doing something for someone else rather than yourself, like giving them a gift. Letting go is a gift to yourself. Once I came to this conclusion, forgiveness became something I could finally wrap my head around.

for·give
verb
to stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), pardoning (granted by a representative of society, such as a judge), forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from consciousness), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship). In certain contexts, forgiveness is a legal term for absolving or giving up all claims on account of debt, loan, obligation or other claims. (via Wikipedia)

 

Cooking over a fire

This weekend I spent an evening in Montville with six girlfriends from high school for a friend’s bachelorette party. The camp we were at had a great fire pit made for cooking over. The hosts did such an awesome job planning the menu and cooking up delicious food while keeping it simple. 

It’s nice to be able to gather with a group of women you were close with at 18 and still have such comfort and ease together over a decade later.

This summer there has been a lot of gathering on docks and around camp fires with friends. It is part of what good summers are made of. 

Support your local food co-op

I am a member of the local co-op. In the summer they have deals for members in bulk fruit. These beauties came from a nearby farm. 5 pounds of local blueberries for $22. 

(We also got just under a bushel of peaches for $25, which is about .50c/peach).

There are so many smoothies in my future.

Support your local food co-op

I am a member of the local co-op. In the summer they have deals for members in bulk fruit. These beauties came from a nearby farm. 5 pounds of local blueberries for $22.

(We also got just under a bushel of peaches for $25, which is about .50c/peach).

There are so many smoothies in my future.

A paddle around the harbor 

This week, on a fall-feeling evening, I got to paddle around the harbor. It was fun to see where the land meets the sea from the sea, and to inch up close to the sparkly big boats and the small rusty ones alike. I paddled right up to a cormorant balancing on a buoy and we eyed each other suspiciously. We’ve had some seriously low low-tides this week, and I couldn’t believe how shallow the channel was - a foot at most in some places.

There are so many great vantage points here - from the big Route 1 bridge, to the footbridge, to the harbor walk that cuts right through the heart of a shipyard that services some of the largest boats north of Rhode Island, and of course, floating around the bay like water fowl.  

Happy Friday and Happy weekend. We don’t have these kinds of days and nights for much longer, so indulge in activities that bring you close to the essence of them. 

These Days

I attract wildlife and car repairs.

Fall is coming. It is here already, a little bit. I kind of like it and I hate to admit it. Days that are warm but not hot, dry air, nights that are cool but not cold; doesn’t matter what time of year it is, I call that kind of weather perfection.

I am torn between making time to run and making time to write. I have realized that over the past few years I’ve become unbalanced. My body and my mind need to learn to live in harmony. I need both to feel like myself. After the next marathon (May 2015) I’m going to readjust.

If I ever get a kayak I’m definitely getting a plastic one like this (as opposed to fiberglass) so I can drag it over the beach and not care. I’m definitely not a candidate for a fancy boat, even if I do like how they move in the water.  

I am in a period in my life of perpetual change. I think I have finally become like a salmon swimming upstream, moving through the opposing current naturally, with my head straight up.

I should be pickling but I can’t find the motivation to use up a solid four hour chunk of an evening or a weekend to do it. I’m afraid the ziplocs will only keep things fresh for so long. What will become of my peas (which are still growing like weeds) and beans? The only thing I am keeping on top of is the kale, and that is just because I can put it in smoothies and mix it into pasta (slash everything).

I long for never ending weekends, leggings, sectional couches, music that is new to me but feels familiar, time to reflect, trails that lead to the ocean, places in the woods where cars cannot be heard, reading through piles of books, and homemade soup.

I have been daydreaming about building a small writing retreat. It may be soon time to resurrect those plans.

Here’s to the whimsy of a creative mind, and the seasons that indulge it.

CappedThe last of the dandelion wine is bottled. Now it stays tucked away in a dark spot until the cold and the gloom of early March are too much to bare.

Capped

The last of the dandelion wine is bottled. Now it stays tucked away in a dark spot until the cold and the gloom of early March are too much to bare.

Sundays around here

Walk through the woods, eat the berries, wade in the water, repeat.

I need some winter running advice

I am hoping to run my next marathon in May. That means my training will start right around mid-January, just when we are in the throngs on winter hell here in the Northeast.

I hate running in the cold. I’ve trained in winter before and what I found is that on long runs 15 miles or longer I would warm up, but then I would cool back down and wouldn’t be able to get warm again. Long runs are hard enough without being cold and damp. Not to mention it just isn’t safe to run long that way.

I need some recommendations. How do you stay warm when you run long in the winter? I’m not talking 30 or 40 degree cold. I’m talking 0-20 degree cold. I don’t wear cotton, so I don’t need the reminder. I already layer, so please share advice that is beyond the basics.

Thanks!

Great time at the lake last weekend

Great time at the lake last weekend

Today, from the garden

A mix of peas, two little patty pans, and more beans to add to the soon-to-be-pickled pile.

Today, from the garden

A mix of peas, two little patty pans, and more beans to add to the soon-to-be-pickled pile.